I decided to do a mile-a-day for 30 days after following an influencer, Magen Reaves, who was posting about her own commitment to walk a mile a day for 30 days. I watched on her stories as more and more started tagging her about joining the movement, literal movement, and thought why not?
By this point in Covid, all my fitness attempts had gone out the window. I was gung-ho with at-home workouts in the beginning. It was easy, it was going to be short term until gyms and studios opened back up. Well weeks turned into months and the longevity of Covid settled in. With it came a sense of powerlessness and a sort of doom. Where was this thing headed? How LONG would it take to get back to normal? Will it EVER get back to normal? And I lost motivation. It was easy to just sit around the house, do my work, keep up with bare minimum domestic duties and that was about it. There was no need to get up and actually go anywhere.
I watched the number creep up on the scale and I saw my body changing before my eyes. I know we’re not suppose to focus on the number on the scale, but rather how we FEEL. I can tell you that the number on the scale and how I looked in the mirror made me FEEL disappointed. I had worked so hard pre-Covid to try and get in shape. I was still a work in progress, but I let myself down by undoing all the progress I had made. And it didn’t help that at 40-something years old, I knew it was going to be REAL hard to get back where I was. But I had to start SOMEWHERE, and this mile-a-day thing seemed like a smaller goal I would be able to tackle.
Well, almost….I made it to about 23 days. Then Labor Day weekend happened and I was gone the whole weekend for soccer tournaments, and it all went out the window. I guess I could add up all the walking to and from the fields and around to get food and our walk through Ikea, but that felt like cheating to me so I gave up after 23 days. Yes, I gave up. But the journey did teach me some things as I move forward in this everyday road to healthy:
Baby steps are still steps in the right direction: Taking 20 minutes out of my day for quick walks were baby steps to getting me moving again. By having a smaller goal that was easier to achieve, I felt a sense of accomplishment that kept me motivated to continue towards my bigger goal of “getting in shape.”
Stop and smell the flowers: I almost mean this literally! Some of my walks I was by myself and made a conscious effort to take in the sights, sounds and smells around me. So much of my day is in front of a screen. I mean, my background on my laptop is mountain scenery, but it’s not quite the same! But on my walks, I would allow my mind to focus on the present and could feel the weight of the day being lifted. Mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health, and why can’t they go hand-in-hand.
Use a support system: Find your support system and use them to motivate you. Sometimes the only reason I walked was because my husband pushed me to go on a walk with him. When you have a support system to encourage you, achieving goals is easier.
Find a way to hold yourself accountable: For me this was posting about it on social media. I walked around my house for a mile one night because I wanted to be able to post about it! Habit trackers in a notebook or on a calendar is another way you can “check off” your accomplishments. Even just talking to someone about what you are trying to achieve will motivate you to keep moving forward.
Be kind to yourself: It’s okay to miss a daily goal every once in a while, or fall short of a longer goal like I did. Life happens and sometimes we can’t do everything we want to do on our list. Forgiving myself for not being able to do it all is something I’m still working on.
The everyday road to healthy isn’t perfect. Some days will be better than others. Let’s just keeping taking our baby steps in the right direction.